And We’re Off: How I Spent the Summer of 2011

14 Jun

To understand my complete and utter delight at how this summer is shaping up, you need the backstory on Summer 2010—the single most difficult season I have ever endured.

We’d just come off a dreadful year of junior high, which my now-15-year-old daughter with autism plainly loathed.  Another student had bitten her four times; my husband and I had lost confidence in the staff, both their teaching skills and their ability to shield our daughter from harm; what’s more, Paige refused to go to school and, physically, I couldn’t make her.

So in June 2010, I simultaneously pulled in and reached out.  Pulling in for me translates into limited social contact and lots of “head time,” where I mull different possibilities of what to do, help to see and paths to take.  (“Head time” gets very noisy, as you might imagine!)  Reaching out meant seeking input from my contacts in the DFW autism community, several of whom held my hand through the often-convoluted process of securing school-based and publically funded services.

I worked like crazy.

Laid bare our situation to strangers.

Prayed nonstop.

Fast-forward a year to Monday, June 13, when Paige happily hopped on the bus for her first day of summer school.  Which went great!  (Her teacher emailed me last night with the full scoop. The day was truly fabulous.)

My personal goal for this summer is to live in the moment—to enjoy the fun times and learn from the tough ones.  Also, I plan to remain mindful and grateful for how far we’ve come as a family from a year ago.

Here’s hoping your summer is fabulous, too!


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